Staff Sgt. Ladonies P. Strong, convicted of negligent homicide when driving a high-wheel truck which overturned in a June 2019 Army training exercise which killed a West Point wrestler and injured more than a dozen other cadets, has been sentenced to three years of confinement, the New York Times reported this week.
InterMat had written about the incident a year ago immediately after it had happened because it had involved an Army wrestler who, prior to entering West Point, had wrestled in high school in New Jersey.
Staff Sgt. Strong was behind the wheel of a truck that overturned in June 2019 on the way to a training exercise about eight miles from West Point's main campus in upstate New York. One cadet, Christopher J. Morgan who was on the Black Knight wrestling team, died at the scene of the accident. Two trainers and 19 others were injured.
Sergeant Strong, who was also convicted of prevention of authorized seizure of property, was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, reckless operation of a vehicle and two counts of dereliction of duty, according to a statement from the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, in Georgia.
Christopher Morgan, 22, who had been expected to graduate in 2020, was a member of the academy's wrestling team and had a standout wrestling career at his high school in West Orange, N.J., his hometown.
"We are devastated by the news of Chris' passing. He was a talented, hardworking, and determined athlete who loved his sport," Army West Point Wrestling Coach Kevin Ward said in a statement released by the academy Friday.
"Chris had an infectious personality with a smile big enough to fill any room, and a heart big enough to love everyone around him. He made everyone around him better and he will be greatly missed," Ward added.
According to his bio at the official Army wrestling website, Christopher Jordan Lynn Morgan wrestled at 184 pounds, compiling a 28-22 overall record, with 13 of those wins resulting in bonus points. One of his opponents as a West Point wrestler: Gabe Dean, two-time NCAA Division I champ for Cornell University.